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Moguls and pole plants/touches

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
This topic came up over beer and pizza last night. In moguls, is there a place for reaching pole plants. If so, when? What about blocking pole plants?
post #2 of 26
My $.02 (some other people's opinion on this board my be worth $.10 or even $.20)--

reaching pole plants.

Down the hill, never. It sticks yer butt out getting your balance all out of whack and then makes it hard to turn your legs.

Sometimes I'll extend pole touches more to the side in an effort to get my skis going left/right out of the fall-line instead of just down the hill. That's good for speed control. This is more an extend the whole body rather than just the arm. Kinda of like the getting tall on the down side of the mogul but also angulating sideways with the upper body moving opposite the skis.

blocking pole plants

They can work but you can get addicted to relying on them. Try to ski with your feet and only use a blocking plant when you really really really have too. A good exercise is to ski like you are going to touch your pole and flick your wrist as you would if your pole touched but don't touch. Then add a little bit of touch but put the minimum of force on the pole. I play a game of pretending to touch the tip to the snow without penetrating the snow enough for the basket to touch. This is of course virtually impossible but the attempt allows you to be very light with you poles.

If you are in a jam and have to to turn now, a blocking plant is useful to stop your rotation and help you get into the next turn quick.

Oh, one downside to relying on blocking pole plants in hard east coast bumps is that your pole could bounce right off an icy bump. Expecting to use the pole plant to stop your rotation, you then pretty much crash.
post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by josseph View Post
This topic came up over beer and pizza last night. In moguls, is there a place for reaching pole plants. If so, when? What about blocking pole plants?
I can give you my perspective from what I have learned at Mogul Logic over the years. Ideally the hands should be in line with the shoulders and the BASKET of the pole reaching for the backside of the mogul. The uphill hand should be countering or punching forward. You should not reach with the upper body, but "cast" the basket out in front of you with your wrists. The backside of the mogul being the downhill side, but most people tend to plant on the front or top of the bump which is not ideal. The pole plant should just be a light touch.

Hope this helps somewhat,

cj
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj68 View Post
The backside of the mogul being the downhill side, but most people tend to plant on the front or top of the bump which is not ideal.
cj
I plant on the front, that part of the bump that faces you, near the top. Are you talking about a specific technique ie. zipper line?

also, I use the pole plant as a block, stop motion - hopefully a gentle one.
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by josseph View Post
This topic came up over beer and pizza last night. In moguls, is there a place for reaching pole plants. If so, when? What about blocking pole plants?
What might be confusing me is the context, given that you can ski bumps differently, zipperline or ski them in a slower line. IMO, the two implies different techniques in poling.

And I would be interested in what type of beer you were having .
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj68 View Post
I can give you my perspective from what I have learned at Mogul Logic over the years. Ideally the hands should be in line with the shoulders and the BASKET of the pole reaching for the backside of the mogul. The uphill hand should be countering or punching forward. You should not reach with the upper body, but "cast" the basket out in front of you with your wrists. The backside of the mogul being the downhill side, but most people tend to plant on the front or top of the bump which is not ideal. The pole plant should just be a light touch.

Hope this helps somewhat,

cj
The pole should go wherever its use will promote the movement into the turn you want to make. That will vary with your approach to the bump and the type of turn you wish to use on that bump.

I wouldn't use a "punching" forward outside hand because it'll lead to rotating the body to turn.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

I wouldn't use a "punching" forward outside hand because it'll lead to rotating the body to turn.
I wouldn't either. The original statement was punch with the uphill hand which is ambiguous unless you know whether he's talking at the beginning or ending of the turn.

I will sometimes punch my inside hand forward after pole touching to help keep my hand from getting dragged back with the pole. It's kind of a flick of the wrist so the pole tip goes back while the hand moves forward a bit. The motion is like shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear with your inside hand.
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
I wouldn't use a "punching" forward outside hand because it'll lead to rotating the body to turn.
The uphill hand would be the free hand while the downhill hand has planted. In some cases you might want that uphill hand to counter or punchout, and yes, the upper body rotates; specifically at the crest of the bump since this would be the maximum part of the absorbtion. If the knees are coming up more lateral, the upper body rotates to counter this to maintain balance and keeps you in proper balance for a weight shift to the next turn.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
I wouldn't use a "punching" forward outside hand because it'll lead to rotating the body to turn.
Ha ha! Tell that to Janne Lahtela or Mikko Ronkennen who are masters of this technique, which does the exact opposite of what you mention above. It keeps the upper body square to the fall line... technically it's called "off hand drive". We spent 2 hours working on this very concept with the coach who happened to be the coach for the last female gold medalist.

cj
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post
What might be confusing me is the context, given that you can ski bumps differently, zipperline or ski them in a slower line. IMO, the two implies different techniques in poling.

And I would be interested in what type of beer you were having .
Okay. Let's say we were having pitchers of Molsen Canadians at our local watering hole after hours. With that in mind, how would you pole differently with the different approaches to skiing bumps?
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
The pole should go wherever its use will promote the movement into the turn you want to make. That will vary with your approach to the bump and the type of turn you wish to use on that bump.
Then, what approach to the bump would warrant a blocking pole plant? And is there an approach in bumps that will benefit from a reaching pole plant?
post #12 of 26
I ski the slow line fast in the bumps, for the most part, and I use a blocking pole plant. Preferably, a gentle one. In the zipper line, maybe it's more of touch.
post #13 of 26
Two good pole plant tips I learned from an x-freestyle competitor...
1) Have the pole ready to plant before the skis get parallel with the fall line. You have more options of where to plant if your pole is ready early.
2) Do not bring the pole forward of the fall line even after the skis are going across the bump. Having the pole arm more "open" saves time when a quick plant & turn are best for you and helps keep the body facing down the hill.

I feel like I reach down the hill with my downhill shoulder. This helps keep the pole in position and prevents leaning uphill...the false security position. As said above, use the wrist to aim the pole, not the whole arm.


Ken
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by josseph View Post
Okay. Let's say we were having pitchers of Molsen Canadians at our local watering hole after hours. With that in mind, how would you pole differently with the different approaches to skiing bumps?
As cj68 mentioned, WC bumpers uses it as a timing aid and the free hand counters any upper body rotation to keep the upper body square. I've even seen coaches drill kids on the zipperline with no poles.

I've seen skiers in the slow line using them as blocking plant more of a way force an early leg/ski rotation. And this cause them to slow down some. Another usage for poling would be hop turns where its firmly planted to setup the hop. I'm not sure about reaching reaching pole this would be too much body leaning, but I can easily interpret this as triggering an early turn since the turn and edging would be use for speed control.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj68 View Post
Ha ha! Tell that to Janne Lahtela or Mikko Ronkennen who are masters of this technique, which does the exact opposite of what you mention above. It keeps the upper body square to the fall line... technically it's called "off hand drive". We spent 2 hours working on this very concept with the coach who happened to be the coach for the last female gold medalist.

cj

cj,

I noticed the fins have a diff style than what Jen Heil uses, the guys are really agressive about that off hand to square up the body and keeping the arms close to the body. Seems that Jen has the arms open/away from the body when poling.
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post
....I'm not sure about reaching reaching pole this would be too much body leaning, but I can easily interpret this as triggering an early turn since the turn and edging would be use for speed control.
That was, through my beer-induced haze, one of my arguments. Reaching pole plant, though it comits the body into the fall line, results in stronger and earlier edge engagement. Stronger and earlier edge engagement results in a turn more carved than scarfed, resulting in more lateral speed (speed across the hill, not down the hill) - this is not necessarily a good thing for mogul skiing because it has a tendency to take the skier out of the fall line. Lateral motion is also motion that you must negate each and every turn, stop-start-stop-start-stop-start. Comments?
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post
cj,

I noticed the fins have a diff style than what Jen Heil uses, the guys are really agressive about that off hand to square up the body and keeping the arms close to the body. Seems that Jen has the arms open/away from the body when poling.
Yes, once again, good eye! The Fins definately have a unique style and noticably different from the North Americans. However, the technical principles are the same. The Fins get TONS of lateral absorption. There style to me is so dynamic and downright exciting to watch. And they are FAST.

In mogul skiing, styles vary from skier to skier, but the technical principles really don't vary much. In my experiences, some athletes and coaches may take a little bit different approach, but in the end it yields the same technical result.

cj
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj68 View Post
The Fins get TONS of lateral absorption. There style to me is so dynamic and downright exciting to watch.
Agree about achieving the same tech result. The Fins using tons lateral asborption would indicate to me that they approach the frontside of the bumps higher and make their release (absorption) at a different part of the bump, thus forcing that lateral knee movement. Just wondering about that aspect.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post
Agree about achieving the same tech result. The Fins using tons lateral asborption would indicate to me that they approach the frontside of the bumps higher and make their release (absorption) at a different part of the bump, thus forcing that lateral knee movement. Just wondering about that aspect.
You bring up a good point. I do believe that they are making contact higher up, because this would allow the skis to have a greater turn angle while not reducing speed and also provide greater lateral movement of the knees upward and across the body. I really am not qualified to speak definitively on the technical aspects of the Fin style, and IMO the Fin style is so advanced that most mere mortals will never be able to duplicate what they do.

The fact of the matter is that all WC skiers are absorbing laterally, some just more than others. Even us mere mortals should be absorbing laterally (or at least working toward that), as maximize range and avoid stuffing the knees into the upper body.

cj
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj68 View Post
You bring up a good point. I do believe that they are making contact higher up, because this would allow the skis to have a greater turn angle while not reducing speed and also provide greater lateral movement of the knees upward and across the body. I really am not qualified to speak definitively on the technical aspects of the Fin style, and IMO the Fin style is so advanced that most mere mortals will never be able to duplicate what they do.

The fact of the matter is that all WC skiers are absorbing laterally, some just more than others. Even us mere mortals should be absorbing laterally (or at least working toward that), as maximize range and avoid stuffing the knees into the upper body.

cj

Right on! Those Fins are definitely on a different stratosphere. Man, its great watching those guys. And yes, duplication is one thing but striving for improvement is another, can't get enough of the later.

Last season, NE had a bad spell in the middle of winter where it rained for half a week and then froze up. The bumps at sunnapee held up but the troughs had sections of ice (and I mean the type you get from the kitchen freezer). To avoid losing control by skiing on this surface. It forced to me to ski higher on the line where the surface was at least granular, making my turns and edge sets higher on the frontside of the bumps with a higher turn angle. Thus a lateral absorption. It puzzled me that a lateral movement worked because I thought the knees should be going more up/down. It became really clear when I watched what the Fins where doing.
post #21 of 26
Great thread, Jack97 you really have got me thinking about lateral knee movement and your choice of words "lateral" as opposed to rotating knees is very important. I have just started to absorb when I ski bumps. In the past I thought I was absorbing but instead I ski in the trough with a loopy style were I over rotate the hips, rotate the knees and reach for the front side of the bump with my arm instead of patiently waiting, as cj68 writes, with a soft touch on the backside of the bump.

I have been reading this thread and the reason I am responding now is because while the technical terms are all valid points I believe my problem is I try to do to much when I ski bumps. I think doing less by staying patient will make me a better bump skier. I think in order to ski higher on the line you need to stay stacked, contained, actively pull the feet back. All these things, which have already been posted here, are suttle movements. So when trying to absorb laterlly although it is difficult to do, the way to do it is by doing less, meaning don't try so hard that you rotate the knees just move them laterally. Don't try so hard you rotate the hips. Don't try so hard you stab the front side of the bump.

I do all the things I say not to. I sit in the pub after a great day of bump skiing drinking an ice cold beer and wondering why my wrist hurts or my back stiffens up. It's not the bumps it's the skier. So back to the flats I go working on each turn.

Jack97 I have skied those northeast ice bumps you speak of. It ain't easy learning to ski bumps in the northeast, can't wait for Whistler.

Stay in the bumps
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsul185 View Post
Great thread, Jack97 you really have got me thinking about lateral knee movement and your choice of words "lateral" as opposed to rotating knees is very important. I have just started to absorb when I ski bumps. In the past I thought I was absorbing but instead I ski in the trough with a loopy style were I over rotate the hips, rotate the knees and reach for the front side of the bump with my arm instead of patiently waiting, as cj68 writes, with a soft touch on the backside of the bump.

I have been reading this thread and the reason I am responding now is because while the technical terms are all valid points I believe my problem is I try to do to much when I ski bumps. I think doing less by staying patient will make me a better bump skier. I think in order to ski higher on the line you need to stay stacked, contained, actively pull the feet back. All these things, which have already been posted here, are suttle movements. So when trying to absorb laterlly although it is difficult to do, the way to do it is by doing less, meaning don't try so hard that you rotate the knees just move them laterally. Don't try so hard you rotate the hips. Don't try so hard you stab the front side of the bump.

I do all the things I say not to. I sit in the pub after a great day of bump skiing drinking an ice cold beer and wondering why my wrist hurts or my back stiffens up. It's not the bumps it's the skier. So back to the flats I go working on each turn.

Jack97 I have skied those northeast ice bumps you speak of. It ain't easy learning to ski bumps in the northeast, can't wait for Whistler.

Stay in the bumps

Jsul185,

From my own exp, I get into trouble when I reach or get aggressive about the planting. Waiting for the bumps to come to me and making sure I'm stacked/maintaining balance is more important. I learn the hard way about using the off hand to counter during the lateral absorption.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post
It forced to me to ski higher on the line...
Skiing higher up on the line/bumps also has it's place in deep bumps as you will be able to ski smoother and faster because you are not having to get way down in the trough. I am sure you know that this does not mean skiing the tops, it is just making contact at a slightly higher point on each bump (like discussed above about the Fins). One of the coaches at ML showed me this a couple of years ago when the course got really deep, and I was amazed at how well it worked... so much so that now I do it naturally if the bumps are deep.

BTW, I think skiing higher up on the bump requires you to be more direct, and then all of the other technical elements come into play as well.

cj
post #24 of 26
I was working on this the other day with Wade Holiday, and it was great to have a pro give me feedback. He left me with some images and movements to work on that have elements of what is discussed above, particularly by softsnowguy.

1. Pole ready: as the turn nears completion the pole is in the ready position for the plant. Rather than a reaching pole plant that tends to rotate the end of the turn, the plant keeps the downhill shoulder low and back. Think of a sidewinder pitch in baseball (my description, not Wade's). The pole plant is to the side and comes mainly from the lower arm as the turn finishes.

2. Turn initiation: This is as sweet move. lighten and slightly retract the downhill foot transferring weight to the new outside ski and use a full turn into and across the fall line. This corrects a rushed turn where the edge does not engage until into or after the fall line.

3. Line selection. My old habits had me crashing into every trough with a hard edge set, rebounding across the fall line to a rushed completion and crash into the next trough. Holiday's suggestion lets me slide to the inside or outside line where the softer snow and less jarring line exist, using the complete turn for control.

If I can get to where I really own these movements, it is clear that at my age, I will continue to ski bumps longer, smoother and more efficiently. Still have a lot of work ahead to really own this. FWIW, Holiday and Eric Deslauriers incorporate turn initiation principles that resemble the PMTS phantom move in turn initiation. If you work in very steep terrain and use a pedal hop turn, the similarities are striking. Its been suggested that I perfect my pedal hops AWAY from exposure for the time being.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj68 View Post
Skiing higher up on the line/bumps also has it's place in deep bumps as you will be able to ski smoother and faster because you are not having to get way down in the trough. I am sure you know that this does not mean skiing the tops, it is just making contact at a slightly higher point on each bump (like discussed above about the Fins). One of the coaches at ML showed me this a couple of years ago when the course got really deep, and I was amazed at how well it worked... so much so that now I do it naturally if the bumps are deep.

BTW, I think skiing higher up on the bump requires you to be more direct, and then all of the other technical elements come into play as well.

cj
Yeah, good point about the deep troughs. Also, sometimes in the spring there's some ugliness in those things.

I see where this might be going; skiing higher, being more direct (in the line), it makes the max absorption all that more important....
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

Turn initiation: This is as sweet move. lighten and slightly retract the downhill foot transferring weight to the new outside ski and use a full turn into and across the fall line. This corrects a rushed turn where the edge does not engage until into or after the fall line.

.... FWIW, Holiday and Eric Deslauriers incorporate turn initiation principles that resemble the PMTS phantom move in turn initiation.
Definitely agree that this would lead to a strong and early edge engagement as the reaching pole plant. Another would be lots of shin pressure with the weight transfer. Just have to absorb with the knees to prevent jarring when making contact with the frontside.
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